Netherlands Tourist Trap Tips by ATLC Top 5 Page for this destination
Netherlands Tourist Traps: 76 reviews and 53 photos
VAN DALE PART 1
Proverbs are usually not exclusive to one country or language.
But here are some that reflect Dutch culture or that are used often in daily communication.
Unique Suggestions: Beloofd = beloofd
Promise is debt
Wat een boer niet kent dat vreet hij niet
What the farmer doesn't know, he won't eat
Wie voor een dubbeltje geboren is wordt nooit een kwartje
Whoever is born a dime will never become a quarter
Goedkoop is duurkoop
Cheap will turn out to be expensive
Voor een dubbeltje op de eerste rang willen zitten
Wanting to sit first rank for almost nothing
Fun Alternatives: The official Dutch dictionary is Van Dale. First published in 1864, and latest edition 2005.
OK....so you are invited for midmorning coffee or midafternoon tea in a Dutch home. You will get a cup and saucer (preferably flowered china of ancient and unknown origin) and a spoon which was bought as a souvenir in some holiday country.
Coffee or tea is poured, a biscuit is offered....
Unique Suggestions: take the biscuit!
It's the only thing you will get to eat. After everyone's served, the lid goes on the biscuit tin. If you're lucky you might get another one on the second round of tea and coffee.
Sept. 2007: the wife of our crown prince, the Argentinian Princess Maxima, noted this very fact in one of her speeches this week.
Fun Alternatives: If you are used to a more filling morning coffee or tea, eat something before or after you leave.
TYPICAL DUTCH DINNER
So you're at the home of a Dutch family at about 18 hrs which is dinner time. You get a plate of vegs, potatoes, meat and gravy. To your horror you see everyone pick up their fork, move it to their right hand and start mashing up the food on their plate. This is called PRAKKEN. Within a blink of an eye the food is eaten.
Unique Suggestions: Don't follow example! You are right to be horrified.
When VT had it's contest of best VT pages, judged by leading American travel journalists, this tip was singled out as a favourite!
For all the winning pages (including this Netherlands page), see here.
Fun Alternatives: Just eat the way you want. Food should be enjoyed. If the food doesn't arrive at the table mashed already (like our stamppot, a bubble 'n squeak kind of dish), then just eat it like you're used to.
As a Dutchie I am ashamed to admit that I do mash up my last potato with some extra gravy :-)))
The Netherlands is a small country, so the longest trip you can make is about 300 km. if you go from south to north.
Roads are good, so are the cars. Many of them. Which means that especially in the west of the country (Randstad = triangle Rotterdam-Amsterdam-Utrecht) you will find yourself in traffic jams from 7-9:30 in the morning and 16.30-18.30 in the evening.
Unique Suggestions: If possible avoid the rush hour.
If you have a mobile phone, send an SMS to 969 (KPN) stating: FILE (followed by the moterway number for example A15)...
thus: FILE A15 will give you the traffic jams (FILE in Dutch) on the A15.
Just FILE will give you all traffic jams.
Fun Alternatives: An alternative is public transport: train, bus, metro.
See my transportation tips.
And specifically the scheduler of all public transportation across the country here. (Including translation)
I was just emailing with Kiwi (Pam) when this expression came up that seems to be quite unknown in English.
In Dutch, if you are baffled by something, your pants drop.
You would say: 'that makes my pants drop'.
Or even: 'good thing I was sitting down or my pants would've dropped !'
Unique Suggestions: Don't look surprised if you hear that: daar zakt m'n broek van af (that makes my pants drop). It's not rude. Just an expression.
Fun Alternatives: Why should there be an alternative? It's a perfectly good expression.
I'm not sure I should post a photo with this tip. Let me just mull over that...
The expression Dutch Treat is well known. It refers to the proverbial scringyness of the Dutch which in a way is true. We seem to have a lot of savings bank accounts. But the Dutch also give a lot to charity. Partly through their taxes but also through the many charities to support national and international causes.
The Dutch give 1.2% of their bruto year income to charity. If you are a member of a church, the rule of thumb is that you donate 2% of your bruto income to the church. In addition probably to whatever you give to other charities.
Charity is even a scientific study in The Netherlands. At the Universities of Amsterdam and Tilburg there the Social Science faculties run a special programme. Very interesting stuff.
Unique Suggestions: What if you don't have money to donate?
Fun Alternatives: Do voluntary work. Even with a government that takes care of so many social causes, there are still many, even locally, that are dependent on gifts and voluntary work.
My first voluntary job I had at age 14, pouring coffee in an old people's home and helping out with the handicrafts therapy. I've had lots of satisfaction working with the elderly, sick or with young people. And the last 10 years raising funds for projects overseas.
For an English summary of the donational behaviour of the Dutch, go to:
Probably not typically Dutch but we will all complain about the weather.
Somehow a summer will always remembered for its rain even if there was plenty of sun too.
If summer is too wet, the farmers will complain that the harvest won't be good and we can expect higher prices.
if the summer is too dry, the same happens.
The winters will be considered wet and horrible if there is no frost and nice snow.
If there's frost and snow then there will be complaints about the effect it has on traffic and that it is COLD.
Lately, summers can be quite hot. We've had weeks of around 25-30 degrees Celsius. Of course we will then stay inside and buy air coolers as Dutch climate should definitely not take on the air of a tropical country.
If it is nice and warm, it always remains like that for too short a period.
In short, no weather is ever any good!
Unique Suggestions: Just don't start about the weather! You will always get a complaint :-)))
Fun Alternatives: Tell your Duch hosts that the weather is even worse in your country (make it up, if you must). You will either be contradicted (true or not) or you'll make us feel better :-)
The weather is taken very seriously though. Because the country is below sealevel.
Check Dutch weather station KNMI for the story about the big flood in 1953 where over 1800 people died.
The photo is from that website.
The Dutch are known to foreigners to be a very kind and appreciative audience when it comes to concerts, theatre and such.
Why? Well, anyone will get a standing ovation!
Most audiences in the world will applaud politely or even enthusiastically when a show has ended. Only rarely do people stand up.
But in The Netherlands it is custom to always give a standing ovation.
Artists from abroad like to start their world tours in The Netherlands. We won't let anyone down.
There you have it. Our way of applauding, with the standing ovation has devaluated the whole thing!
When people from abroad come to stay at my house and if they are remotely interested in language, it has struck me that the word "Lekker" is especially interesting to my guests. It's an easy word to say and very distinguisable from other words as it is often used on its own. They work out quickly that it has to do with food. But then they become confused. Because I would exclaim "Lekker" not relating to food but for example having a nice sit-down or commenting about the weather.
It's a typical Dutch stop word.
Unique Suggestions: You'll hear this word a lot in NL.
Lekker = tasty or nice as in:
Lekker eten = having nice food
Lekker wandelen = having a nice walk
Slaap lekker = sleep well
TULIPS FOR THE HOSTESS
Nothing, if you're invited to morning coffee or afternoon tea. At least, it isn't necessary.
Wine or flowers or chocolates if you're invited for dinner.
Don't be surprised if the Dutch say that you shouldn't have brought something. It's politeness because if you hadn't, it would sure be talked about once you left.
Unique Suggestions: If you bring flowers, don't limit yourself to a mere bunch of tulips. Bring a proper bouquet and have it giftwrapped.
The Dutch splash out on flowers. Many families buy fresh bouquets every week to brighten their homes.
Fun Alternatives: Of course you can let your imagination go and and bring something else. Especially if you know your hosts, they'd also be happy with a gift that is typical of your country.
If you're invited to dinner and want to bring wine, then it isn't unusual to ring and ask if white or red would be appreciated.
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